Have you ever picked up a book that you feel was written just for you? My Papa always used to say, “You always have a friend if you have a book.” I love that. In your loneliest times, you can get caught up in a story or character that takes you far away. Or maybe it’s something you can relate so closely to, that you feel a kindred spirit. For me, that book is “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
I found myself longing for community tonight. Los Angeles can be a lonely city. I see people constantly, but in this book, Bonhoeffer describes the ache and longing we have for fellowship with other Christians. Whenever I feel crazy, like I’m the only one feeling this way, this book reminds me I’m not alone.
Deuteronomy 28:25 talks about how God’s people will be in far away places, and spread among unbelievers. I know that God wants me here in LA, and that it’s crucial to bring His light to Hollywood, a place that is cluttered with way too many fluorescent lights & broken people.
However, it’s hard to feel restored enough to even attempt to be a light when you aren’t receiving that same restoration.
Bonhoeffer writes, “The Christian in exile is comforted by a brief visit of a Christian brother, a prayer together, and a blessing; indeed, he is strengthened by a letter written by the hand of a Christian.”
He goes on to say that the physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer.
After reading all of that, I received an extremely brief message from a very dear friend, just asking how my week was going. Just as Bonhoeffer said, I was restored.
We aren’t meant to live alone. If one question restored my day, imagine what you could do in someone’s life tomorrow. Or maybe you need the restoration. Church can be scary and intimidating. Maybe you’ve even had a horrible experience (or 5). Don’t give up.
You may be called to lead an incredible life, a crazy journey, maybe even in a far away city or country. But you’re not called to do it alone.